Kawhi Leonard could leave Clippers in free agency?
Even though Kawhi Leonard can opt out of his contract this offseason and test free agency, the expectation has long been that he will ultimately return to the Los Angeles Clippers. Now, that may not be a foregone conclusion.
Marc Stein of the New York Times suggested that it is “no longer a safe assumption” that Leonard will remain with the Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks will try to lure the forward away.
“The Mavs will try to do everything they can to get Kawhi Leonard. The Knicks and the Heat will try as well. The situation with Kawhi is no longer a safe assumption he’s staying with the Clippers.” –@TheSteinLine
— John Ledesma (@JohnnyNBA) July 23, 2021
It’s worth noting this could be Leonard’s people warning the Clippers that the team must improve. It could be real, though, and this isn’t the first we’ve heard of teams believing they at least have a shot at luring Leonard away from Los Angeles. Plus, if this recent claim about Leonard’s knee surgery is true, it could signal that all is not well between the player and the team.
On the other hand, Leonard wanted to be in Los Angeles, and even recruited George alongside him. It would still count as a surprise if he left this soon.